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Poker in Italy on the Rise

Poker Starting to Appear on TV There

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Poker is getting popular in Italy and TV stations are starting to air not only European shows but also American tournaments. First was the WPT aired on Sports Italia. (Once again, is poker a sport?) After that, the WSOP and EPT on Sky. And one more show is coming soon to Italian television, the Ultimate Poker Challenge.

The first official Italian-based poker site opened three months ago. Its name, www.pokerdassi.com, translates as "four aces." A few days ago, the site hit 1,000 subscribers, more than 90 percent of whom are Italians. A real boom for the old country. Delegations from Sweden, England ,and France are often seen in American big events; you can bet that this year a big Italian group will make the trip to the WSOP.

The best-known Italians in the poker world are Las Vegas-based players Max "Italian Pirate" Pescatori (a very lazy Card Player columnist) and Marco Traniello (husband of the great Jennifer Harman); world travelers Jeff "Freak" Lisandro (Australian/Italian but because he's awesome, we'll officially adopt him) and Walter Farina (the only Italian to have a WSOP bracelet); and Italian residents Luca "Pretty Boy" Pagano and Robert "Dartagnan" Binelli.

Forza Italia!!!